'Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip': Norfolk MP backs PM as quit calls mount

South Norfolk Conservative candidate Richard Bacon at The General Elction 2019 count for Broadland,

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A Norfolk MP has blasted the "drip, drip, drip, drip, drip" feed of negative stories about Boris Johnson.

And South Norfolk Conservative MP Richard Bacon insisted the prime minister has done a "really good job" in "probably the greatest crisis we have faced in over a hundred years".

Mr Bacon appeared on BBC Newsnight on Friday (February 5) at the end of a day when another Conservative MP called on Mr Johnson to quit, amid reports he was pictured holding a beer in a photograph from his alleged restriction-busting gathering.

Former minister Nick Gibb said the time had come for the prime minister to go, and suggested he had not been truthful in his explanations of parties reportedly held in No 10 and across Whitehall during Covid measures.

Mr Gibb, who is reported to have submitted a no-confidence letter to Sir Graham Brady, brings the number of Tory MPs who have now publicly called for Mr Johnson to resign to 15.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, Westminster, for the House of Commons, where

Prime minister Boris Johnson. - Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

But the prime minister was backed by Mr Bacon in his interview with the BBC's Faisal Islam.

Mr Bacon was asked if it was worrying that Mr Gibb had come out against the prime minister.

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He replied by saying no and then launched an attack on the way the various stories of allegations against Mr Johnson had emerged.

He said it has gone "drip, drip, drip, drip, drip" and nobody seemed to have questioned why the various allegations have emerged in that way.

Mr Bacon said: "I have heard no discussion about that at all. I bumped into Laura Kuenssberg, your political editor of the BBC in the pub a few nights ago and we talked mainly about my dog.

"But we eventually got onto 'it' and I suggested that perhaps there was a reason why it had gone drip, drip and she did not deny it.

"I think there's a process going on with people who are deliberately trying to bring the prime minister down."

Mr Bacon said he was not denying there had been problems, but that Mr Johnson had "apologised graciously".

He said it was wrong to assume the prime minister was the "office manager" of 10 Downing Street.

He said: "He's not responsible for paying the electricity bill or for making sure all the social distancing rules are observed all the time, 24/7, even when he's not there.

"He's the head of government of a nuclear armed G7 power and he has many people - 400 civil servant managers helping him with all those other things, and sometimes after working very hard - 16 to 18 hours a day."

Mr Bacon said the opinion forming classes "cannot stand" that Mr Johnson "achieved what he said he was going to do" - highlighting the vaccine programme and the furlough scheme.

He added: "I think, overall the prime minister has done a really good job in what is, in normal circumstances a superhumanly difficult job and, in these circumstances, in probably the greatest crisis we have faced in over a hundred years - almost an impossible job."